Monday, Sept 26, 2011
Posted: 10:29 a.m.
The Toronto Blue Jays will be without their manager and the majors' home run leader when they open a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.
Toronto can finish with a winning record for the fifth time in six years with two wins this week, however, the Blue Jays (80-79) expect to be without Jose Bautista, who suffered a knee bruise in Sunday's 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay.
Bautista, who leads the majors with 43 homers and is hitting .305, was chasing a fly ball in the first inning when his knee made contact with a corner of the padded doorway. He fell to the ground and was down for several minutes, but stayed in before leaving in the sixth.
"We feel like we dodged a bullet," manager John Farrell said. "It could have been something much more severe."
Farrell will also miss Monday's game for personal reasons while Colby Rasmus, who was a late scratch with flulike symptoms Sunday, is uncertain.
The team could have Adam Lind back after he missed the last three games following the birth of his child.
Also playing out the schedule is Chicago (77-82), which lost two of three to Kansas City over the weekend and is assured of its third losing season in five years.
The disappointing season has cast doubt over manager Ozzie Guillen's future with the club. He has publicly asked for an extension of his contract, but the team has been silent.
"I'm not here for stats, I'm here to win divisions," Guillen said. "As soon as they put the 'X' next to me, I'm done. That was my goal and I couldn't capture my goal."
Chicago had six hits in Sunday's 2-1 loss, but stranded seven. Adam Dunn went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, dropping his average to .161 with 172 strikeouts.
Dunn needs 13 plate appearances in the final three games to finish with the worst qualifying batting average in big league history, surpassing Rob Deer's .179 mark in 1991. Dunn went 1 for 14 with eight strikeouts in a series against Toronto in May.
The Blue Jays won the final three games of that four-game set, and have won 21 of 27 against the White Sox overall.
Toronto sends Dustin McGowan (0-1, 6.35 ERA) to the mound for his fourth start of the season.
McGowan gave up two runs and struck out eight in five innings of a 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.
"It was good," said McGowan, who is coming back from two shoulder surgeries. "It seems to get better every time. Just pounded the zone. Avoided the walk which kind of killed me in other starts."
The right-hander is 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA against the White Sox, last facing them in 2008.
Chicago will counter with Dylan Axelrod (0-0, 4.26), who is making his third major league start and fourth appearance.
Axelrod allowed four runs, four walks and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 5-4 win at Cleveland on Tuesday.
He limited Detroit to two runs and six hits over six innings on Sept. 14 in his only start at U.S. Cellular Field.
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